Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out in Rome by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. It marked a crucial imperial victory in the conflict between Charles and the League of Cognac —the alliance of France, Venice and the Papacy; the growing power of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V alarmed Pope Clement VII, who perceived Charles as attempting to dominate the Catholic Church and Italy. In effort to free both from Imperial domination, Clement VII formed an alliance with Charles V's arch-enemy, King Francis I of France, which came to be known as the League of Cognac; the army of the Holy Roman Emperor defeated the French army in Italy, but funds were not available to pay the soldiers. The 34,000 Imperial troops mutinied and forced their commander, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and Constable of France, to lead them towards Rome. Apart from some 6,000 Spaniards under the Duke, the army included some 14,000 Landsknechte under Georg von Frundsberg, some Italian infantry led by Fabrizio Maramaldo, the powerful Italian cardinal Pompeo Colonna and Luigi Gonzaga, some cavalry under command of Ferdinando Gonzaga and Philibert, Prince of Orange.
Though Martin Luther himself was not in favor of attacking Rome or the Pope, some who considered themselves followers of Luther's Protestant movement viewed the Papal capital as a target for religious reasons, shared with the soldiers a desire for the sack and pillage of a city that appeared to be an easy target. Numerous bandits, along with the League's deserters, joined the army during its march; the Duke left Arezzo on 20 April 1527, taking advantage of the chaos among the Venetians and their allies after a revolt broke out in Florence against Pope Clement VII's family, the Medici. In this way, the undisciplined troops sacked Acquapendente and San Lorenzo alle Grotte, occupied Viterbo and Ronciglione, reaching the walls of Rome on 5 May; the imperial troops were 14,000 Germans, 6,000 Spanish, an uncertain number of Italian infantry. The troops defending Rome were not at all numerous, consisting of 5,000 militiamen led by Renzo da Ceri and 189 Papal Swiss Guard; the city's fortifications included the massive walls, it possessed a good artillery force, which the Imperial army lacked.
Duke Charles needed to conquer the city swiftly, to avoid the risk of being trapped between the besieged city and the League's army. On 6 May, the Imperial army attacked the walls at the Vatican Hills. Duke Charles was fatally wounded in the assault shot by Benvenuto Cellini; the Duke was wearing his famous white cloak to mark him out to his troops, but it had the unintended consequence of pointing him out as the leader to his enemies. The death of the last respected command authority among the Imperial army caused any restraint in the soldiers to disappear, they captured the walls of Rome the same day. Philibert of Châlon took command of the armies, but he was not as popular or feared, leaving him with little authority. In the event known as the Stand of the Swiss Guard, the Swiss, alongside the garrison's remnant, made their last stand in the Teutonic Cemetery within the Vatican, their captain, Kaspar Röist, was wounded and sought refuge in his house, where he was killed by Spanish soldiers in front of his wife.
The Swiss fought bitterly, but were immensely outnumbered and annihilated. Some survivors, accompanied by a band of refugees, fell back to the Basilica steps; those who went toward the Basilica were massacred, only 42 survived. This group of 42, under the command of Hercules Goldli, managed to stave off the Habsburg troops pursuing the Pope's entourage as it made its way across the Passetto di Borgo, a secret corridor that still connects the Vatican City to Castel Sant'Angelo. After the brutal execution of some 1,000 defenders of the Papal capital and shrines, the pillage began. Churches and monasteries, as well as the palaces of prelates and cardinals, were looted and destroyed. Pro-Imperial cardinals had to pay to save their properties from the rampaging soldiers. On 8 May, a personal enemy of Clement VII, entered the city, he was followed by peasants from his fiefs, who had come to avenge the sacks they had suffered by Papal armies. However, Colonna was touched by the pitiful conditions of the city and hosted in his palace a number of Roman citizens.
The Vatican Library was saved. After three days of ravages, Philibert ordered the sack to cease. In the meantime, Clement remained a prisoner in Castel Sant'Angelo. Francesco Maria della Rovere and Michele Antonio of Saluzzo arrived with troops on 1 June in Monterosi, north of the city, their cautious behaviour prevented them from obtaining an easy victory against the now undisciplined Imperial troops. On 6 June, Clement VII surrendered, agreed to pay a ransom of 400,000 ducati in exchange for his life. At the same time Venice took advantage of this situation to capture Cervia and Ravenna, while Sigismondo Malatesta returned to Rimini. Cited as the end of the Italian Renaissance, the Sack of Rome impacted the histories of Europe and Catholicism, creating lasting ripple effects throughout world culture and politics. Prior to the Sack, Pope Clement VII opposed the ambitions of Emperor Charles V and the Spanish, whom he believed wished to dominate Italy and the Church. Attempting to spare his peopl
Sack of Rome (455)
The sack of 455 was the third of four ancient sacks of Rome. In the 440s, the Vandal king Genseric and the Roman Emperor Valentinian III had betrothed their children and Eudocia, to strengthen their alliance, reached in 442 with a peace treaty. In 455 Valentinian was killed, Petronius Maximus rose to the throne. Petronius married Valentinian's widow, Licinia Eudoxia, had his son Palladius marry Eudocia. Unhappy, with her husband's murder and the usurpation of Maximus, Eudoxia turned to aid from the Vandals to remove Maximus from his undeserved throne; the overture was favorably met. The king of the Vandals claimed that the broken betrothal between Huneric and Eudocia invalidated his peace treaty with Valentinian, set sail to attack Rome, landing at Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber. Before approaching the city, the Vandals knocked down all of the city's aqueducts. At the sight of the approaching Vandals and his soldiers tried to flee the city but he was spotted and killed by a Roman mob outside the city together with his son Palladius.
Upon the Vandal arrival, according to the chronicler Prosper of Aquitaine, Pope Leo I requested that Genseric not destroy the ancient city nor murder its inhabitants. Genseric agreed and the gates of Rome were thrown open to him and his men. While Genseric kept his promise not to burn the city and slaughter its inhabitants, he did carry off some to be slaves, during that time Genseric managed to capture Empress Licinia Eudoxia, Valentinian's widow, her daughters and Placidia as they tried to escape. Eudoxia and her children were the last of Rome's imperial family. Eudocia would marry Huneric, it is accepted that Genseric looted great amounts of treasure from the city, damaging objects of cultural significance such as the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus by stripping away the gilt bronze roof tiles. There is, some debate over the severity of the Vandal sack; the sack of 455 is seen as being more thorough than the Visigothic sack of 410 because the Vandals plundered Rome for fourteen days whereas the Visigoths spent only three days in the city.
A cause of significant controversy is the claim that the sack was "clean", in that there was little murder and violence, the Vandals did not burn the buildings of the city. This interpretation seems to stem from Prosper's claim that Pope Leo I managed to persuade Genseric to refrain from violence. However, Victor of Vita records that a number of shiploads of captives arrived in Africa from Rome, with the purpose of being sold into slavery; the Byzantine historian Procopius reports that a church was burnt down. Some modern historians like John Henry Haaren stated that temples, public buildings, private houses and the emperor's palace were sacked. Besides taking many Romans as slaves, the Vandals committed other depredations like taking immense quantities of gold, silver and furniture, destroying works of art, killing a number of citizens. Sack of Constantinople Procopius,'The Vandalic War' in The History of the Wars, Books III & IV, trans. H. B Dewing Muhlberger, S; the Fifth Century Chroniclers: Prosper and the Gallic Chronicler of 452 — for Prosper's hagiographic portrayal of Leo.
Victor of Vita, History of the Vandal Persecution, trans. J. Moorhead. Ward-Perkins, B; the Fall of Rome and the End of Civilisation pp. 17 & 189
Alexander Stille is an American author and journalist. He is the son of Ugo Stille, a well-known Italian journalist and a former editor of Italy's Milan-based Corriere della Sera newspaper. Alexander Stille graduated from Yale and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he has written many articles in particular its politics and the Mafia. His first book and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism, was chosen by the Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of 1992 and received the Los Angeles Times book award. In 1995 he wrote Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic, an investigation into the Sicilian Mafia in the latter half of the twentieth century and in particular the events leading up to the major crackdown against the criminal organization in the 1990s following the bloodthirsty reign of Salvatore Riina; the book was dedicated to the memory of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Paolo Borsellino. The events outlined in the book were made into a 1999 movie of the same name.
In 2003 he wrote The Future of the Past, about the efforts to preserve historical monuments and documentary evidence of ancient times. In 2006 he wrote The Sack of Rome: How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken Over by a Man Named Silvio Berlusconi, about Silvio Berlusconi, his book The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace was published in February 2013. Stille writes for The Boston Globe, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times and The New Yorker. For a short time, Stille lived in Milan, but resides in New York City and is the San Paolo Professor of International Journalism at Columbia, he was married to poet Lexi Rudnitsky until her death in January 2005. They had one son, born in October 2004. Stille was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008. Contributions to The New Yorker Horrors And Heroes by John Elson, book review of Benevolence and Betrayal Transcript of an interview with Stille from PBS Stille archive from The New York Review of Books
Sofia Polgár. She is a former chess prodigy, she holds the FIDE titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster and is the middle sister of Grandmasters Susan and Judit Polgár. She has worked as a chess teacher and artist. Polgár was born into a Jewish family in Budapest, she and her two sisters were part of an educational experiment carried out by their father László Polgár, in an attempt to prove that children could make exceptional achievements if trained in specialist subjects from a early age—László's thesis being that "geniuses are made, not born". He and his wife Klara educated their three daughters at home, with chess as the specialist subject, they taught their daughters the international language Esperanto. In the 1986 World under-14 championship she finished second to Joël Lautier and was declared world under-14 girls champion. In 1989, at the age of 14, she stunned the chess world by her performance in a tournament in Rome, which became known as the "Sack of Rome", she won the tournament, which included several strong grandmasters, with a score of 8½ out of 9.
Her performance rating according to New in Chess was 2879, one of the strongest performances in history. Polgár finished second to Helgi Gretarsson at the World Junior Chess Championship 1994 in Matinhos, Brazil. On February 7, 1999 Polgár moved to Israel, they have two children and Yoav. Polgár's parents joined them in Israel; the whole family subsequently emigrated to Toronto, Canada, but around 2012 Polgár moved back to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv. For a time, Polgár ranked as the sixth-strongest female player in the world, she played one FIDE-rated game in July 2005. Prior to that, her last FIDE-rated game was in September 2003. At one point she beat Viktor Korchnoi at a game of fast chess. Korchnoi said that this was "the first and the last" game she would win against him. Official website Sofia Polgar games at 365Chess.com Zsofia Polgar player profile and games at Chessgames.com
Battle of the Allia
The Battle of the Allia was fought between the Senones and the Roman Republic. It was fought at eleven Roman miles north of Rome; the Romans were routed and subsequently the Senones sacked Rome. The common date given for the battle is 390 BC; this is based on the account of the battle by the Roman historian Livy and the Varronian chronology, a Roman dating system. The ancient Greek historian Polybius, who used a Greek dating system, derived the date 387/6 BC. Plutarch wrote that the battle took place just after the summer solstice when the moon was near the full, a little more than three hundred and sixty years from the foundation of Rome; that would be shortly after 393 BC. Tacitus said that the battle took place the 15 before the Kalends of August, 18 July; the Senones were one of the various Gallic tribes that had invaded northern Italy. They settled on the Adriatic Coast around. According to Livy, they were called to the Etruscan town of Clusium by Aruns, an influential young man of the city who wanted to take revenge against Lucumo, who had "debauched his wife."
When the Senones appeared, the Clusians felt asked Rome for help. The Romans sent the three sons of Marcus Fabius Ambustus, one of Rome’s most powerful aristocrats, as ambassadors, they told the Gauls not to attack Clusium and that if they did, the Romans would fight to defend the town. They asked to negotiate a peace; the Senones accepted a peace. There was a quarrel and a battle broke out; the Roman ambassadors joined in. One of them killed a Senone chieftain; that was a violation of the rule. The brothers had taken sides and one of them had killed a Senone; the Gauls withdrew to discuss. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Lucumo was the king of the city, he assigned the guardianship of his son to Aruns. When the son became a young man, he seduced her; the grieving Aruns went to Gaul to sell wine and figs. The Gauls had never asked Aruns where they were produced, he replied that they came from a large and fertile land, inhabited by only a few people who were not good fighters. He advised them to enjoy the fruit as their own.
He persuaded them to come to Italy, go to Clusium, make war. Dionysius' account presumes that those Gauls were in Gaul; when Quintus Fabius, one of the Roman ambassadors, killed a Gallic leader, they wanted the brothers to be handed over to them to pay the penalty for the men they had killed. When the ambassadors of the Senones arrived in Rome and demanded for the three Fabii brothers to be handed over to them, the Senate was pressured by favouritism not to express opinions against the powerful Fabia family. To avoid being blamed for a possible defeat if the Gauls attacked, they referred the matter to the people. Livy wrote that "those whose punishment they were asked to decide were elected military tribunes with consular powers for the coming year." The Gauls were enraged that those who had violated the law of nations had been honoured and marched on Rome, 130 km from Clusium. Livy wrote that "in response to the tumult caused by their swift advance, terrified cities rushed to arms and the country folk fled, but the Gauls signified by their shouts wherever they went that their destination was Rome."
The number of fighters involved in the battle is not known for sure. Plutarch writes that the Romans were not outnumbered and had 40,000 men, but most were untrained and unaccustomed to weapons. Dionysius of Halicarnassus writes that the Romans had four well-trained legions and a levy of untrained citizens, larger in number; that would give a rough figure of some 35,000. Diodorus Siculus writes. Livy gives no figures. Modern historians Cary and Scullard estimate that the Romans had 15,000 men and the Gauls 30,000 to 70,000. Berresford Ellis gives an estimate of a minimum of 24,000 based on the assumption that "the Romans had... four legions – for each consul had two legions under his command – and given that each legion had 6,000 men." He thinks that there may have been a contingent of allied troops. He thinks that the "Senones' tribal army could scarcely number more than 12,000."The figures given by ancient historians for the size of the Roman army engaged in the battle are unlikely, as they are notorious for exaggerating figures.
Contrary to Berresford Ellis's assertion, at the time, the Romans had only two legions. The number of legions was not increased to four until in the century, during the Second Samnite War, the first record of four legions is for 311 BC. At that point, the Romans had additional military commanders: the praetor, instituted in 366 BC, the proconsul, a consul who received an extension of his term of military command; the first historical hints of the consuls leading more than one legion were for 299 BC and 297 BC, during the Third Samnite War. The first explicit mention of a consul with two legions is for 296 BC. In 295 BC, the Romans deployed six legions, four led by the two consuls, fought a coalition of four peoples in the huge Battle of Sentinum. Two were led to another front by a praetor; the battle of the Allia took place in the early days of Rome, when the Roman army was much smaller and its command structure was much simpler. The Roman army had only two legions, the two con
Capture of Rome
The Capture of Rome, on 20 September 1870 was the final event of the long process of Italian unification known as the Risorgimento, marking both the final defeat of the Papal States under Pope Pius IX and the unification of the Italian peninsula under King Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy. The capture of Rome ended the approximate 1,116-year reign of the Papal States under the Holy See and is today memorialized throughout Italy with the Via XX Settembre street name in every town of any size. For Italy, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour died soon after the proclamation of her unity, leaving to his successors the solution of the knotty Venetian and Roman problems; the Austrians were still in Venetia and the pope was still in Rome. Cavour had believed that without Rome as the capital, Italy's unification be sadly incomplete. "To go to Rome", said his successor, Riscasoli, "is not a right. In regard to the future relations between church and state, Cavour's famous dictum was, "A free Church in a free State".
During the Second Italian War of Independence, much of the Papal States had been conquered by the Piedmontese Army, the new unified Kingdom of Italy was created in March 1861, when the first Italian Parliament met in Turin. On 27 March 1861, the Parliament declared Rome the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. However, the Italian government could not take its seat in Rome because it did not control the territory. In addition, a French garrison was maintained in the city by Emperor Napoleon III in support of Pope Pius IX, determined not to hand over temporal power in the States of the Church. In July 1870, at the last moment of the Church's rule over Rome, the First Vatican Council was held in the city – affirming the doctrine of papal infallibility. In July 1870, the Franco-Prussian War began. In early August, Napoleon III recalled his garrison from Rome; the French not only needed the troops to defend their homeland, but there was real concern in Paris that Italy might use the French presence in Rome as a pretext to go to war with France.
In the earlier Austro-Prussian War, Italy had allied with Prussia and Italian public opinion favoured the Prussian side at the start of the war. The removal of the French garrison eased tensions between France. Italy remained neutral in the Franco-Prussian War. With the French garrison gone, widespread public demonstrations demanded that the Italian government take Rome, but Rome remained under French protection on paper, therefore an attack would still have been regarded as an act of war against the French Empire. Furthermore, although Prussia was at war with France, it had gone to war in an uneasy alliance with the Catholic South German states that it had fought against just four years earlier. Although Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck was no friend of the papacy, he knew any war that put Prussia and the Holy See in opposing alliances would certainly have upset the delicate pan-German coalition, with it his own laid-out plans for national unification. For both Prussia and Italy, any misstep that caused the breakup of the pan-German coalition brought with it the risk of Austro-Hungarian intervention in a wider European conflict.
Above all else, Bismarck made every diplomatic effort to keep Prussia's conflicts of the 1860s and 1870s localized and prevent them from spiraling out of control into a general European war. Therefore, not only was Prussia unable to offer any sort of alliance with Italy against France, but had to make diplomatic efforts to maintain Italian neutrality and keep the peace on the Italian peninsula, at least until the potential of a conflict there becoming intertwined with her own war with France had passed. Moreover, the French Army was still regarded as the strongest in Europe - and until events elsewhere took their course, the Italians were unwilling to provoke Napoleon, it was only after the surrender of Napoleon and his army at the Battle of Sedan the situation changed radically. The French Emperor was forced into exile; the best French units had been captured by the Germans, who followed up their success at Sedan by marching on Paris. Faced with a pressing need to defend its capital with its remaining forces, the new French government was not in a military position to retaliate against Italy.
In any event, the new government was far less sympathetic to the Holy See and did not possess the political will to protect the Pope's position. With the French government on a more democratic footing and the harsh German peace terms becoming public knowledge, Italian public opinion shifted away from the German side in favour of France. With that development, the prospect of a conflict on the Italian peninsula provoking foreign intervention all but vanished. King Victor Emmanuel II sent Count Gustavo Ponza di San Martino to Pius IX with a personal letter offering a face-saving proposal that would have allowed the peaceful entry of the Italian Army into Rome, under the guise of protecting the pope. Along with the letter, the count carried a document that Lanza had prepared, setting out ten articles to serve as the basis for an agreement between Italy and the Holy See; the Pope would retain the inviolability and prerogatives attaching to him as a sovereign. The Leonine City would remain "under the full jurisdiction and sovereignty of the Pontiff".
The Italian state would guarantee the pope's freedom to commu
Sack of Rome (410)
The Sack of Rome occurred on 24 August 410 AD. The city was attacked by the Visigoths led by King Alaric. At that time, Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Roman Empire, having been replaced in that position first by Mediolanum in 286 and by Ravenna in 402; the city of Rome retained a paramount position as "the eternal city" and a spiritual center of the Empire. The sack was a major shock to contemporaries and foes of the Empire alike; this was the first time in 800 years that Rome had fallen to a foreign enemy. The previous sack of Rome had been accomplished by the Gauls under their leader Brennus in 390 or 387/6 BC; the sacking of 410 is seen as a major landmark in the fall of the Western Roman Empire. St. Jerome, living in Bethlehem at the time, wrote; the Germanic tribes had undergone massive technological and economic changes after four centuries of contact with the Roman Empire. From the first to fourth centuries, Germanic populations, economic production, tribal confederations grew, their ability to conduct warfare increased to the point of challenging Rome.
The Goths, one of the Germanic tribes, had invaded the Roman empire on and off since 238. But in the late 4th century, the Huns began to invade the lands of the Germanic tribes, pushed many of them into the Roman Empire with greater fervor. In 376, the Huns forced many Therving Goths led by Fritigern and Alavivus to seek refuge in the Eastern Roman empire. Soon after, high taxes, hatred from the Roman population, governmental corruption turned the Goths against the Empire; the Goths began looting and pillaging throughout the eastern Balkans. A Roman army, led by the Eastern Roman emperor Valens, marched to put them down. At the Battle of Adrianople in 378, Fritigern decisively defeated emperor Valens, killed in battle. Peace was established in 382 when the new eastern emperor, Theodosius I, signed a treaty with the Thervings, who would become known as the Visigoths; the treaty made the Visigoths subjects of the empire as foederati. They were allotted the northern part of the dioceses of Dacia and Thrace, while the land remained under Roman sovereignty and the Visigoths were expected to provide military service, they were considered autonomous.
Fritigern died around 382. In 391, a Gothic chieftain named Alaric was declared king by a group of Visigoths, though the exact time this happened and nature of this position are debated, he led an invasion into Eastern Roman territory outside of the Goths' designated lands. Alaric was defeated by Theodosius and his general Flavius Stilicho in 392, who forced Alaric back into Roman vassalage. In 394, Alaric led a force of Visigoths as part of Theodosius' army to invade the Western Roman Empire. At the Battle of the Frigidus, around half the Visigoths present died fighting the Western Roman army led by the usurper Eugenius and his general Arbogast. Theodosius won the battle, although Alaric was given the title comes for his bravery, tensions between the Goths and Romans grew as it seemed the Roman generals had sought to weaken the Goths by making them bear the brunt of the fighting. Alaric was enraged he had not been granted a higher office in the Imperial administration; when Theodosius died on January 17, 395, the Visigoths considered their 382 treaty with Rome to have ended.
Alaric led his warriors back to their lands in Moesia, gathered most of the federated Goths in the Danubian provinces under his leadership, rebelled, invading Thrace and approaching the Eastern Roman capital of Constantinople. The Huns, at the same moment, invaded Asia Minor; the death of Theodosius had wracked the political structure of the Empire: Theodosius' sons and Arcadius, were given the Western and Eastern empires but they were young and needed guidance. A power struggle emerged between Stilicho, who claimed guardianship over both emperors but was still in the West with the army that had defeated Eugenius, Rufinus, the praetorian prefect of the East, who took the guardianship of Arcadius in the Eastern capital of Constantinople. Theodosius had left power to both men, but Stilicho claimed that Theodosius had awarded him with sole guardianship on the emperor's deathbed. Rufinus negotiated with Alaric to get him to withdraw from Constantinople by promising him lands in Thessaly. Whatever the case, Alaric marched away from Constantinople to Greece, looting the diocese of Macedonia.
Magister utriusque militiae Stilicho marched east at the head of a combined Western and Eastern Roman army out of Italy. Alaric fortified himself behind a circle of wagons on the plain of Larissa, in Thessaly, where Stilicho besieged him for several months, unwilling to seek battle. Arcadius, under the apparent influence of those hostile to Stilicho, commanded him to leave Thessaly. Stilicho obeyed the orders of his emperor by sending his Eastern troops to Constantinople and leading his Western ones back to Italy; the Eastern troops Stilicho had sent to Constantinople were led by a Goth named Gainas. When Rufinus met the soldiers, he was hacked to death in November 395. Whether, done on the orders of Stilicho, or on those of Rufinus' replacement Eutropius, is unknown; the withdrawal of Stilicho freed Alaric to pillage much of Greece, including Piraeus, Corinth and Sparta. Athens was able to pay a ransom to avoid being sacked, it was only in 397 that Stilicho returned to Greece, having rebuilt his army with barbarian allies and believing the eastern Roman government would now welcome his arrival.
After some fighting, Stilicho besieged Alaric at Pholoe. On